Businesses lament Perth homelessness surge as McGowan’s 100-bed facility lies in wait

“I don’t think they really care about the homeless,” he said. “They’ll drive by in their City Watch cars, but they don’t get out and offer help or education.”

He said the city needed to get back to basics of intervening from the start so that rough sleepers could realize they couldn’t just lie down somewhere without it having an impact.

“If the city had helped, Sorrento might not have had to close,” said Carberry.

Polly Coffee owner Izo said his premises at the Perth Cultural Center were suffering from the same problems.

“We have destroyed property, employees are frightened and abused by shady people. and [there are] People who use drugs and alcohol, ”he said.

“I hope someone will fix the problems.”

Mr Di Lanzo firmly believes that he will not reopen his famous Italian restaurant in Northbridge, Sorrento, as he has a well-deserved long vacation in Italy in mind instead.

The passionate restaurant owner then took a call from Perth’s Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas WAtoday broke news that its iconic northbridge establishment was about to close, in part due to homelessness problems that have plagued the former entertainment district and the nearby CBD.

Alfonso Di Lanzo has closed his restaurant due to homelessness problems in Northbridge.

Alfonso Di Lanzo has closed his restaurant due to homelessness problems in Northbridge.Credit:Instagram

Mr Di Lanzo said he told Mr Zempilas that he was 85 and his children were reluctant to take over a company the family had run since 1949 because of anti-social issues in the area. In addition, he could not attract qualified personnel.

Mr Zempilas, who has been criticized by parts of the community for closing Sorrento, said the council was proactive to alleviate homelessness in the CBD but “ultimately homelessness is an issue of the state government”.


The government’s mid-term property, Boorloo Bidee Mia, had about 30 rooms ready when it opened nearly three months ago, but staffing and security issues have resulted in a rent shortage, despite nearly 1,000 people sleeping on the streets.

Boorloo Bidee Mia, located in the former YHA hostel on Wellington Street, has a three-year government funding budget of nearly $ 7 million.

The planned 100-person facility offers single rooms for singles and couples, each with a bed, locker, table and mirror.

A spokesman for WA Prime Minister Mark McGowan said while the accessible accommodation is suitable for those with rough sleepers, construction is still going on to enable full service capacity.

Barrier-free accommodation requires minimal expectations of the people living there, so that even rougher sleepers can use the service.

However, people can only access Boorloo Bidee Mia if they have been referred by service providers and agencies – the Integrated Homelessness Action Group – which has identified suitable candidates.

“The referral process differs from a ‘walk-in’ or ‘drop-in’ accommodation model in that it aims to provide longer-term accommodation,” said the government spokesman.

The full occupation of the facility was a gradual process.

“People are carefully selected to ensure the right mix of people is involved to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all residents and staff,” they said.

“While the final configuration will offer up to 100 beds, the total number of residents in Boorloo Bidee Mia … will depend on the residents’ need for support.

“The service will continue to expand its capacities in the coming months.”

The subsidy was aimed at operating and personnel costs as well as addiction and psychological problems of the residents.

“The safety and well-being of employees and residents are a priority at all times,” said the spokesman.


“Some residents exhibit challenging behaviors related to trauma, mental health, or drug and alcohol addiction.”

The CBD facility is a temporary solution while the McGowan government is developing near the Royal Perth Hospital Precint Common Ground.

Last week, Perth Housing Secretary and MLA John Carey announced $ 2.1 billion over four years for municipal housing reforms to help fight the crisis, with 3,300 new public housing being the end game.

The major reform focused on giving municipal housing providers significantly more credit to buy, rent, or build new social and affordable housing.

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